The bigotbasher at The Conservative Lie had a good post this week on the scandal-de-jour as it relates to other interesting events in our national life – he speculates about why Weiner’s predilection for adolescent sexual behavior came out at this time and what that might have to do with Justice Thomas and Obamacare and Citizens’ United and a recent letter Weiner wrote Thomas saying he should recuse himself on the Obamacare and charging him with a financial conflict of interest on Citizens’ United.
Speaking truth to power can have terrible consequences (power of course means the monied interests). For instance, I’ve always believed:
- Elliot Spitzer’s fascination with prostitutes was known in political and financial circles, but it wasn’t till the old Sheriff of Wall Street gained some regulatory power as Governor that it all hit the front pages.
- Julian Assange’s transformation from internet bad boy to international criminal happened after he announced the pending release of damning documents relating to the practices of Bank of America.
Also, while looking for an image to use here, I came across this story at NEWS ONE: For Black America.
For months, Rep. Weiner has prompted Thomas to disclose the money his wife, Virginia Thomas made working for Liberty Central, a political organization that has openly opposed President Obama’s health care reform agenda. According to Weiner, Mrs. Thomas’ political affiliations put the justice’s impartiality on the bench in question.
Details of Virginia Thomas’ salary and other payments were disclosed Friday night as the press and most Americans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend.
But guess what happened the next day and dominated the news cycle for the next week? Yup. Never really saw that Ginny Thomas story anywhere.
Here’s the letter Weiner wrote Thomas that precipitated the document release by Ginny Thomas.
The Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas
United States Supreme Court Building
1 First Street Northeast
Washington D.C., DC 20543
Dear Justice Thomas:
As an Associate Justice, you are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise the highest degree of discretion and impartiality when deciding a case. As Members of Congress, we were surprised by recent revelations of your financial ties to leading organizations dedicated to lobbying against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We write today to respectfully ask that you maintain the integrity of this court and recuse yourself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of this act.
The appearance of a conflict of interest merits recusal under federal law. From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife’s financial stake in the overturn of healthcare reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has “experience and connections” and appeals to clients who want a particular decision – they want to overturn health care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of healthcare reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern.
This is not the first case where your impartiality was in question. As Common Cause points out, you “participated in secretive political strategy sessions, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the <5-4> decision” on the Citizens United case. Your spouse also received an undisclosed salary paid for by undisclosed donors as CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization that stood to benefit from the decision and played an active role in the 2010 elections.
Given these facts, there is a strong conflict between the Thomas household’s financial gain through your spouse’s activities and your role as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. We urge you to recuse yourself from this case. If the US Supreme Court’s decision is to be viewed as legitimate by the American people, this is the only correct path.
We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this request.
ANTHONY D. WEINER